The best web designers are able to blend technical prowess with creative thinking, developing the sites, apps and software that shape the digital world.
Web designers plan, conceptualize, and arrange all the content you see on a website. Font, color, shape, layout, spacing, images, and icons are the visual elements of web design. Functional elements involve navigation, animation, speed, structure, user interaction, and cross-browser compatibility.
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Because most people look at websites on various devices like tablets or cellphones, there are 2 styles of web design that are the most common.
Adaptive design: This kind of design uses multiple versions of a website that are customized to fit screens of different sizes. These versions are either based on device type or browser width.
Responsive design: This type of design uses a combination of flexible grids (with breakpoints) so that it can fit any screen size. A web designer is responsible for all the vital aspects of a website or app, like the design, layout, usability, and visual appearance of a website.
Regardless of your specialty, there are some responsibilities and skills common to all web designers.
Roles and Responsibilities of A Web Designer
Here are some responsibilities that you’ll find in almost every web designer job description:
- Conceptualize design ideas
- Test the ideas
- Establish design guidelines and standards
- Develop sample sites
- Present and defend the designs and ideas to clients and stakeholders
- Improve samples based on feedback
- Incorporate functionalities and features
- Create wireframes, storyboards, user flows, process flows, and site maps
- Create user-friendly and appealing websites
- Digital retouching
- Collaborate with other members and other teams
- Be up to date with the latest technological developments
These responsibilities are somewhat like that of a web developer, but don’t get the two confused. Web designers and developers are quite different, so let’s dive into their differences.
Web Designers vs Web Developers - What's the Difference?
People tend to get confused between the roles of web designers and web developers. Sometimes, these terms are even used interchangeably, which isn’t correct. Although both positions are associated with handling web pages, and their roles are equally crucial to website building, the details of the roles are different. Here are some of the differences which will help you understand which role will fit you better.
Types of Web Designers and Web Developers
Web designers can be divided into categories based on their specialization. There are three main types of web designer roles: UX/UI designer, interaction designer, and visual designer. Web developer roles can also be divided based on their skills and specialization as front-end, back-end, and full-stack web developers.
The Difference in Skills Required for These Roles
- Knowledge of Tools: Since web designers and web developers are responsible for handling different parts of a website, the kind of tools you’ll need to fulfill the responsibilities are quite different. As a web designer, you should know how to use tools like Sketch, Unsplash, iStock, Balsamiq, MockFlow, InVision, Adobe XD, and Photoshop. To become a web developer, you should be familiar with tools like Atom, Bluehost, Joomla, Drupal, Jira, GitHub, WordPress, Visual Studio, and Lighthouse.
- Difference in Compensation: The salaries depend on various factors like geographical location, level of position, work experience, the company, and skills. On average, an entry-level web developer earns more than an entry-level web designer. A web developer makes around $74,678 per year, and a web designer earns around $61,136 per year on average.
Why Should You Become A Web Designer?
Regardless of the industry, every company wants to have an appealing website. To do this, they need web designers to work their magic. The demand for high-quality websites makes web design a great, stable career choice. Here are some more reasons for choosing this field:
- Work Remotely: To create stunning websites, you only need your laptop, an internet connection, and your creative mind. You can work for clients across the globe while sitting in your pj’s at home!
- Work Across Industries Every company, no matter what industry, needs a strong digital presence. This allows web designers to work for the industry of their choice. You can work for different industries and use your creativity in so many different ways as a web designer.
- Growing Opportunities: The increase in the popularity of the digital world is making nearly every company go digital. That’s why jobs in web design are expected to increase in the coming years. As a web designer, you’ll have the opportunity for growth and job stability.
- Great Pay and Benefits: In addition to enjoying work that’s rewarding and creative, designers also get to take home a substantial paycheck. On average, web designers make between $61,738 and $82,468 per year. So you don’t have to worry about compensation if you have the right skills.
How Can You Become A Web Designer?
Are you confused about how and where to start your web design career? Here’s a guide to help you out. You can follow the steps given below to launch your career.
- Know the field. Before jumping into the field, you should know what you’re getting into. Read blogs, articles, and books to get a good understanding. If you’re happy with what a day in the life of a web designer looks like, then it’s time to pursue your new career!
- Get educated. Concepts, principles, and skills are important, and you learn this through getting educated. There are tons of options available to fit your needs as an aspiring web designer. You can go to university or college, take small courses, or take career-focused bootcamps like ours at Thinkful. The education route you choose to take depends on who you are as an individual.
For example, if you’re fresh out of high school and want the university experience, then choose that! If you want to start your career quickly, choose a bootcamp. Look at all your options and determine what fits your lifestyle best.
- Focus on mastering the skills. This is absolutely a skill-based job. You should learn how to code and master other technical skills. There’s some software that you should be familiar with like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Animate, and Adobe Dreamweaver. Along with these, there are some crucial tools like Mockplus, Atom, and Sublime. These skills and tools will help you complete your day-to-day responsibilities.
- Get certified. To build a strong portfolio, you need to prove your competence. Certification courses are a good way of doing that. There are many online certification courses available these days that can be beneficial for you. You can choose a certification course depending on your area of interest and specialization. Adobe Certified Expert (ACE), Google Mobile Web Specialist, and Facebook Blueprint Certification are some of the popular web design certification courses.
- Create your own website. Having a website will reflect your capabilities and skills as a web designer. Through your website, clients will be able to view your skills and contact you for work. You can put all of your achievements, skills, and projects on your website too. Don’t forget to add a personal touch to your website to make it stand out. This is your chance to show off!
- Stay up-to-date with trends. Become aware of the trends; it’s an important part of this field. You should always keep an eye out for new trends and technologies. This will give you an edge over your competitors. New trends will also inspire you to do better. It can be a good habit to spend around 30 minutes every day looking at new trends and good designs that inspire you.
- Network with other designers. Networking is crucial in any industry. But in addition to meeting some useful contacts in the design world, it’s also a way to build friends that understand you and have similar interests. Joining communities and forums can help you build your community. SitePoint and UX Mastery are popular communities to consider. You’ll also get to know about upcoming meetups, conferences, seminars, and other related events through these communities.
Becoming a web designer is very achievable if you put in the time, hard work, and commitment. You might face challenges along the way, but with patience and perseverance, you’ll get hired by a company you love, and look forward to years of challenging and fulfilling projects. If you love to get creative and you’re not afraid to try your hand at some tech skills like coding, then web design is for you.
If you want to learn more about how to become a web designer, we’ve got tons of useful articles and YouTube videos. If you’re interested in our web design bootcamp, feel free to book a call with our admissions team.
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